Oskar Baudisch

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Oskar Baudisch
Born (1881-06-03)3 June 1881
Maffersdorf, Austria Hungary
Died 29 March 1950(1950-03-29) (aged 68)
La Jolla, United States
Citizenship Austria-Hungary later American
Fields Chemistry
Alma mater University of Zurich
Known for Baudisch reaction

Oskar Baudisch (3 June 1881 – 29 March 1950) was an Austrian American biochemist and radiographer. He is mainly known for a chemical reaction that bears his name, the Baudisch reaction.

Early life and education[edit]

Baudisch was born to Joseph and Julie Baudisch in Maffersdorf, Austria, which is today Vratislavice nad Nisou, now part of the Czech Republic.[1][2]

He received his first education in chemistry at the Staatsgewerbeschule in Reichenberg. Since this kind of school was not sufficient to be allowed to start a Ph. D. thesis in Austria, he went abroad. Baudisch studied chemistry in Zurich, where he obtained his Ph.D. in 1904.[1][2]

Career in Europe[edit]

After a year of military service in the Austro-Hungarian Army, he worked for his former chemistry teacher, Ferdinand Breinl, in Reichenberg. There he published a paper on the oxidation of proteins by hydrogen peroxide. He then joined the group of Eugen Bamberger at the University of Zurich as a private assistant.[1][2]

In 1907 he joined the University of Manchester where he worked with William Henry Perkin, Jr.. During this time he published his work on Cupferron, a complexation agent later used for the quantitative analysis of copper and iron.[3] Baudisch left London in 1909 and worked in the dyestuff industry for some time. In 1911, he worked with Alfred Werner in Zurich, and obtained his habilitation.[1][2]

Just before the outbreak of World War I, he became director of the Strahlenforschungsinstitut (radiation research institute) in Hamburg. During the war, Baudisch served in the Austria-Hungary army in the fields of medicine and epidemic control. After the war he joined the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Physics in Berlin.[1][2]

In America[edit]

In 1920, he went to Yale University, where he was professor of photochemistry for two years. He then worked at the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research where he concentrated his research on trace minerals in soil and water. In 1933 he was asked to head the New York State Institute of Balneology and Hydrotherapy at Saratoga Springs, New York.[4] During his time at this institute he also worked on the impact of trace minerals in water on health.[1][2]

Baudisch reaction[edit]

In 1939 Baudisch discovered a reaction in an aqueous mixture of hydroxylamine hydrochloride and benzene or phenol to give o-nitrosophenols. The reaction needs copper(II) as catalyst. This reaction is today known as the Baudisch reaction.[5]


Baudisch drowned on 28 March 1950 near La Jolla, California in a boating accident.[1][2] He had been working on a research project on trace elements in the sea for the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla.[4]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Schwarz, Inge (1996). "Prof. Dr. Oskar Baudisch - Ein Biochemiker". maffersdorf.de. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Feigl, Fritz (1951). "Oskar Baudisch". Mikrochemie Vereinigt mit Mikrochimica Acta. 36–37: 33–37. doi:10.1007/BF01427419. 
  3. ^ Lundell, G. E. F.; Knowles, H. W.; Hanuš, J.; Soukup, A.; Baudisch, O.; King; Ferrari; Holladay; Schröder, K.; Bellucci, J.; Grassi, L.; Brown; Rodeja; Turner; Archibald; Fulton (1922). "Die Verwendung des Cupferrons in der quantitativen Analyse". Zeitschrift für Analytische Chemie. 61: 60–66. doi:10.1007/BF02425240. 
  4. ^ a b "Oscar Baudisch". Chemical & Engineering News. American Chemical Society. 28 (17): 1413. 24 April 1950. doi:10.1021/cen-v028n017.p1413. 
  5. ^ Oskar Baudisch (1940). "A New Chemical Reaction With The Nitrosyl Radical NOH". Science. 92 (2389): 336–7. Bibcode:1940Sci....92..336B. doi:10.1126/science.92.2389.336. PMID 17783392.